Impressive, beautiful, with very few tourists
1 Day Is Not Enough As There Are Lots Of Things To See Around Baalbek...
Amazing piece of world history sitting in an untraveled and beautiful area in the Middle East.
By far one of the best preserved temples from the Graeco-Roman world, perhaps second only to the Pantheon in Rome, the Temple of Bacchus is the gem of Baalbek today. Despite its great proportions, larger than the Parthenon of Athens, the Temple of Bacchus was dwarfed by its neighbour, the Temple of Jupiter, and was thus known as the "small temple."...more
A grand (restored) stairway leads up to the Propylaea, the impressive entrance to the Baalbek Acropolis and its Temple of Jupiter. The Propylaea is set between two towers and had a colonnaded portico within it, which was once covered with a wooden ceiling, probably made from cedar wood, and paved with mosaics. Only a few upright columns from the...more
A large paved Oval Forecourt preceded the Propylaea and the entrance to the Acropolis of Baalbek. This forecourt functioned as a gathering place before entering the temple's enclosure when important religious processions honouring the deity took place. For anyone who has visited Jerash in Jordan, an oval forecourt preceding a temple dedicated to...more
Adjacent to the Temple of Jupiter is the Temple of Bacchus. Although it is known as the Small Temple, it is actually bigger that the Parthenon in Greece. There are marvellous carvings that still remains in pretty good condition. In fact the Temple of Bacchus is acclaimed to be the most beautifully decorated temple of the Roman Empire.more
Eating cheap & nice was my option in Baalbek.The schwarmas that I got in Baalbek had some mutton in them plus the pickles of course.Seriously speaking, when i think about The Middle East i will think about the schwarmas that i had there & the ones that I had in Baalbek were just so delicious !more
As there were 13 of us staying at the hotel, they brought in a local woman to cook mannoushi for us. Light as a feather flat bread spread with za'atar mixed with oil - it was delicious and it just kept coming - hot and fresh straight from her portable "bakery" on the floor of the restaurant lobby - absolutely delicious!more
Given the option of where to eat at the Palmyra Hotel, the lovely, leafy terrace should be your first choice. It is very pleasant indeed. The large restaurant inside is a nice room, but when the place is all but deserted it's all a bit funereal. The terrace only seems to open sometime in mid-May. There's also a tiny, dark bar where you can get a...more
It takes a bit more than an hour to drive from Beirut to Baalbeck. Baalbeck is actually located in the Bekaa valley and to reach there, you would need to climb the Mt. Lebanon Range. The road is winding with heavy traffic. Drivers are also aggressive and accidents are not uncommon. But the view if marvelous as you drive along the road. Enjoy...more
Baalbek is about 1hr45m from Beirut, along a road that traverses the Lebanon Mountains and the breathtakingly scenic Beqaa Valley. Frequent buses are available from Beirut, but if one could afford a private car (with a driver) then it is a luxury worth the splurge. A day trip from Beirut is quite possible, combined with a stop at Aanjar on the way...more
There are a few different options here for you to take to get to Baalbek.1) take a taxi or a sevice taxis, which are pretty cheap options2) take a tour bus, Personally the first time you go to baalbek this might be the best way as the tour guides are very knowledgeable about the ruins and this trip is usually done with a trip to aanjar (beautiful...more
Located at the end of the small cafes by the ruins is a tourist shop that sells a variety of items. The most interesting thing available are the t-shirts. When I asked the woman there to tell me all that it said, she suddenly grew flustered and wouldn't tell me. I kept asking and she kept blushing, telling me all of the sudden she didn't understand (yeah right!). I got the ol' "me no speak" line from her and it became a joke with everyone working there. Part of it says something along the lines of "Hizbollah is victorious". The rest I will find out when I am able to show my Arab friends. No doubt it says something like Death to America. And yes I did buy one...I have a collection of interesting "souvenirs" from around the world.
To visit the Acropolis of Baalbeck you need to buy a ticket from the booth at the entrance of the site, before the steps that lead inside it. In December 2003 the price was of 12000 Lebanese Pounds, which is roughly 8 US dollars. It's the most expensive of the sites we visited, but also the worthiest.more
Before entering the acropolis, it's best to learn something about what you will see. The easiest and most fascinating way is to visit the museum. It's located to the left of the entrance, inside what looks vaguely likes a tower/fortress. Entrance is free, and there are several informative plaques about the history and the temples of Baalbeck. There...more
On a recent visit to Baalbeck my husband wandered round the outside of the ruins on his own to take some photos at night. He was invited in to the Hezbollah exhibition (near the entrance to the ruins) by the man in charge there and the two of them were the only people there at the time. The man then propositioned him and my husband made a swift...more
My wife and I arrived as part of a group. After our visit to the site we all went to the string of cafes and stalls near the entrance gate. Once we'd finished our coffee we both went back to the coach to get something. We were out of sight of our party. We were immediately surrounded by about ten youths who were begging/trying to sell us gum....more
If you're travelling here with children... or are not very stable when walking be very careful... The ruins have been here for thousands of years and the floor hasn't been exactly paved since then, so there's a good chance you could end up on your anus...apart from that the steps can be quite steep when entering the ruins and there isn't a lot of...more
As you come out of Baalbek there is usually a lot of people trying to sell you roman coins that have been found amongst the ruins.Beware of this as many of them are fake, but if they are real it's actually illegal to take them out of the country anyways as they are considered a "national treasure" Saying all this though it's good to buy something...more
When visiting Baalbeck, keep in mind that the locals are used to tourists touring in and around their town. You will find several souvenir and drink shops, but be careful of high prices and rip-offs. We went to purchase a couple of sodas from a boy at a drink cart and he gave us the cans of warm soda. When we asked for ice, he asked for $0.50 per...more
Baalbek is a great place to spend half a day and it is a lovely place except for the lurking sellers outside the temple. They are persistent and down right annoying and one guy harrassed me to buy something for 25 minutes after I told him in French and Arabic to get away. Your best bet is not walk along the parallel road with the temple where the...more
Luggage and bags:
take a small rucksack if you have to take anything so that you keep your hands free.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: wear comfortable shoes such as trainers as you are walking through ruins... in other words you have lots of cobbles and loose stone to walk over.
Don't forget your sunglasses
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun Block!
Photo Equipment: If using a camera you can affix lenses to, do not forget your wide angle lens, I did and it was a nightmare to get some of the shots. Also remember the polariser, in this place it will be your best friend.
Miscellaneous: Take Lots of water with you, it can get very hot in the exposed Ancient temple!
As part of the side trip to Baalbek, we also got to visit the area around BYBLOS. Known as the "Ancient Crossroads of the Mediterranean, Byblos is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Byblos is built upon multiple layers of ruins, dating back as early as the Stone Age.NB: The photos depicted here are digital...more
Baalbek is the administrative centre of the Bekaa Valley. The valley is about 120 km long, with an average width of 16km. This is the most fertile and productive strip of land in Lebanon. The Romans called it the "Breadbasket of the Empire", which helps to explain the ancient city's importance.40% of Lebanon's arable farmland is here. Wine has been...more
Take some time whilst you are in Baalbek to walk around the town a bit. You'll find it quite an attractive little place with a small souk and market area - I'd give the sticks of green rhubarb a miss unless you want your tongue stripped; there's a few outdoor cafes around the square near the ruins and another up the hill a little way up from the...more
Once a massive structure, all that is left of the great TEMPLE OF JUPITER are the six Corinthian columns. You have to wonder how they have stood for so long. They stand on a wall which is fifty feet in height. This remaining wall forms the southern wall of the original structure. In the accompanying picture, you will see a little LoriPori in the...more
Located in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon BAALBECK is famous for its temple ruins of the Roman period when Baalbeck or BAALBEK was known as Heliopolis "the city of the sun". It is Lebanon's greatest Roman Treasure, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984The town Baalbek is about 85...more
Dedicated to Bacchus, the Roman God of wine, THE TEMPLE OF BACCHUS is also referred to as the "Temple of the Sun".Considered as one of the best preserved Roman Temples in the world. Its walls are adorned by 42 Corinthian Columns, 19 of which remain upright.Though less famous, it is larger that the Parthenon in Greecemore